RECOVERY, WINNING THROUGH SURRENDER
Recovery has taken on so much more of a meaning to me than the superficial word we blurt out casually. Reason being, I broke it down to a simpler form. RECOVER. To reclaim something or in this case, someone. That someone being me. When God made my beautiful smiling face, He didn’t make me all screwed up. I was made in His image and perfection. The environment, family issues, add many negative influences and emotions caused by horrible things happening to me and around me and PRESTO! What a frikin hot mess. Instant A-Hole and misfit. Just add alcohol, drugs, porn, food and so forth. Yeah! I know! I know!! Ministers ain’t supposed to use ugly language or be that messed up. That’s why I say, CALL ME SINNER! Still working on the Sainthood. Don’t hold your breath though. I suppose a preacher or priest that has to hide their sins, perversions and weakness is more socially acceptable. We rob them of their chance to recover and find healing. For God sake! Let’s let these poor souls just be human and honest. They are heroes in need of hugs.
By trying to return to and recover that beautiful soul God created in me, my strength is increased. My ability to please God is improved. It is as simple admitting that I need to have Him in my life. Admitting I can do nothing without Him. I am nothing without Him. The Bible says His strength is made perfect in our weakness. So maybe I should embrace at concept and bare all to Him. He becomes my strength. He then pours His love and goodness out on me. Shelters me, defends me, cleanses me, (sometimes that part stings a little). I am now a stronger person because the threat is not going to destroy me. If I am to become dependent on something or someone: Let that someone be God.
It became apparent to me in my own recovery that standard mainstream churches and denomination can be in a bondage of their own. Chains called pride or guilt and shame. Too many of them are institutions where people are robbed of the healing process that comes from admitting when you need help. All of a sudden they are forced to hide problems with anger, little white lies, grief, depression, abuse, neglect and these vulnerable souls start looking for coping mechanisms to deal with the pain. In many cases their position, leadership post or even their job is at risk if they dare to seek help. Stuffing becomes necessary and a false image of perfection is held out as who they are. It’s a mask forged from pain and suffering. This is the viscous cycle that has destroyed the credibility of the church.
No institution is perfect because the people that make up that institution are not perfect. Even the more flexible 12 step recovery programs can make mistakes because people make mistakes. I take issue with the concept that when you fall on your face, you need to start over again as though you know absolutely nothing. Why trash the knowledge you have? When I was a fledgling in sobriety and chose to pick up a drink, the old timer would tell me I needed to shut up and listen. I was told I didn’t know anything worth sharing. Talk about being crushed? Simple devastated! Hurt by the very ones that I loved and looked to for protection. God says the opposite. He wants me to pour out my babbling and warped understanding of what happened. Cry, slobber, drip snot and to whine on His precious shoulder. Yeah, I’m gonna probably lie, twist the story to protect the guilty, “me”, and He knows this. As I sober up, get clean or whatever fits here, my humility will find me. The story will change. He knows the truth anyway, He just lets me talk until I am able to utter those powerful words “I blew it Daddy”. “I’m sorry, please help me”. The healing begins. I hear the truth for the first time ever. We only hear when the truth comes from our own lips. Denial stops and acceptance begins. It’s beautiful. We do not kill our children because they are not perfect. Neither does God. He forgives. Its people who struggle with the concept of forgiveness.
This is how my personal ministry was born. God showed me a need for a place where people can rest and just be vulnerable. Church should be more like a family where we really do not expect each other to be perfect. There is too much pressure in a setting where you must hide your imperfections to survive. There is a sense of safety and comfort that comes from being able to just simple bare all and cry on one another’s shoulder. To be willing to hold, hug and cry with one another. This is the true beauty of perfect love. “Perfect love casts out fear”. We should never fear those who love us and that we love.
All of that to say this; Love yourself enough to forgive yourself. Let no one have authority to judge you and sell you their imperfect judicial decision about worth. You’re priceless, the one and only Prince of Peace died for you to be able to blow it, confess it, get up, dust yourself off and say, “I’m important”. I count too. I’m forgiven. My daddy loves me. Yes, He even loves a sinner like me.